22 Egyptian soccer fans killed in clash over entry to stadium

In a major tragedy, at least 22 people were killed and over 20 injured when angry Egyptian soccer fans clashed with security personnel to force their way into a stadium to watch a match, triggering a stampede and one of the deadliest game-related violence in the soccer-crazy nation.
Egyptian authorities suspended all major football matches indefinitely after the incident, which broke out when police fired tear gas and birdshot at fans who jostled with them to gain entry to the Air Defence Stadium here ahead of a game between Egyptian Premier League clubs Zamalek and ENPPI.
However, the match went on despite the deadly clashes and ended with a 1-1 draw. Zamalek’s full-back Omar Gaber, a favourite figure player, withdrew to express solidarity with the fans.
At least 22 people were killed, according to the public prosecutor’s office. Another 20 people were injured.
However, the Health Ministry put the death toll at 19.
“Nineteen people died,” interior ministry spokesman Hani Abdel Latif said.
Initial local media reports had said as many as 30 people were killed in the tragic incident, the deadliest after the 2012 clashes that erupted after a football match in Port Said, claiming 72 lives following which authorities curbed the number of people allowed to attend.
“More than ten thousand people, who did not have tickets for the match, tried to break into the stadium. A number of them were killed and dozens injured due to stampede,” the Egyptian Interior Ministry said in a statement. (AGENCIES)


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